Category Archive: Marketing, Networking & Social Media

What’s All the Hubbub About a Sales Funnel? How Do They Work?

Okay, so what is a sales funnel anyway? Sales funnels are just about the hottest thing in marketing these days. People throw around words such as lead pages, landing pages, drip campaigns, webinars, and email blasts like they’re candy or something.  

Mostly they are really interesting sounding buzz words, but until you start to understand what all the components are, how they go together and why what you really need is a good strategy, all these words are just going to be alphabet soup.  

sales funnel 

First, let’s start with some terminology typically associated with a Sales Funnel.

1. Autoresponder

This is email marketing software that automatically sends out emails after someone opts in or buys a product from you. It can be smart or relatively simple. Smarter software would include platforms like Ontraport. Less sophisticated software would be something like MailChimp. If you have multiple lists, multiple opt-ins, etc, you need to get and implement something like Ontraport. That will allow you the more sophisticated “If-Then-Else” coding to make sure that no one ends up getting multiple copies of the same emails.

2. Video Conferencing Software

There are SO many video conferencing software options out there. My current favorite is Zoom because I can get the Pro version and do webinars. With the Webinar version I can have up to 100 people on the call, or I can do Facebook Live to my business page or Facebook Group. The opportunities for this are endless.

3. Drip Campaign

This is typically a set of emails that are delivered over a period of 7-21 days that encourage contacts to buy. They come with delivering an opt-in or product. You might sometimes see  the terms “autoresponder” and “drip campaign” used interchangeably.

4. Email Blast

I’ll confess, I don’t like this term. It leaves the impression that you are just throwing stuff out at your list to get them to buy. Of course you do want people to buy from you, but blasting it in their face is not necessarily the best way to nurture your list so they’ll want to continue receiving emails from you. So, I avoid the term “blast” as it has negative connotations to me.

5. Newsletter

Companies often send out newsletters anywhere between once a day to once a week, or even once a month or quarter. Sending out fewer than one email per month will make it difficult to maintain contact with your list. Emails should be simple and include relatively few graphics. In fact, most businesses with larger lists tend towards very short teasers, with the rest of the information on their website. They may not have any graphics at all in their newsletter either! All of that lives on the website.

Content is an integral part to a good newsletter. Be helpful, interesting and informative, and you’ll have clients for life!

Types of Funnels

There are many different kinds of sales funnels. They can range from building a large Facebook Group and doing regular Facebook Live sessions for your group to building a large email list and sending emails to your list. I agree that these are useful, but they are also fairly simple to use and implement.

You can also build more formal sales funnels. There are two main types of funnels I see used extensively in the online world.  

1. Webinar-Based Sales Funnel

sales funnelThese funnels are typically implemented by running Facebook Ads, Banner Ads and Google Ads. They traffic users to a sign-up for a webinar or free training. You get people to sign up for your free training, then you sell them your product. Once you’ve perfected the process, you can set it up so that it is fully automated. Then the webinar will run on its own with minimal human intervention. 

In the beginning, you will have to hold webinars on a regular basis. One reason I was able to grow my Facebook group so quickly in the beginning was because I held webinars on a weekly basis for months. When people registered for the webinar, I invited them to join my Facebook group on the ‘Thank You’ page. Then, at the end of the webinar, I again invited those who attended to join my Facebook group.

2. Freebie to Product-Based Sales Funnel

These are fabulous funnels because you can put so many pieces together. You will need a much more sophisticated email marketing service for this, such as Ontraport. If you have a single product, it isn’t an issue, but the point at which you have a multi-tiered sales funnel, you must have one of these services. It works like this: you run traffic to an opt-in (ad traffic, Pinterest traffic, etc). Then, when someone opts in to receive your product, on the ‘Thank You’ page you can offer them a low-cost product. I like $7 as my low-end product.

By adding in a series of emails through your autoresponder and your landing pages, you can get up-sells, down-sells and cross-sells, depending on the prospect’s behavior and what actions they take. It requires some programming of the conditions so that you don’t end up going in a circle or having other programming related issues.

There is, unfortunately, no single right way to build your business. I’ve seen people spend too much time trying to develop the “perfect” sales funnel, and freaking out because it wasn’t all perfect.

Don’t spend too much time driving yourself crazy on this point. Build your sales funnel or give us a call to help you out. And know that it is a process that requires setup, sales copy and testing to get to a completed state and ready to launch.

Have you been using Google as your business consultant?

Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.

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Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:

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100 Favorite Social Media Conversation Starters for Better Engagement

Getting the ball rolling on a conversation and getting people to engage on your social media accounts can be quite a challenge. It takes a variety of content such as helpful information, inspirational posts or a simple question. But so many people are left wondering what they should post to get engagement. After all, getting organic engagement can be THE Holy Grail for all social media marketers.

I’ve spent countless hours coming up with and building a list of conversation starters that would encourage people to respond to my posts in my Facebook Group and in my other social media accounts.

conversation starters

Here are 100 of my favorite conversation starters for social media:

1. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

2. Toilet paper. Over or Under?

3. What is your favorite small, local business? Why?

4. If you could be a Disney Princess, which one would you be?

5. If you could have dinner with any person living or dead, who would it be?

6. How many languages do you speak (and which ones)?

7. How many schools did you attend while growing up?

8. What is your favorite TV show?

9. What was the last great movie you saw?

10. Do you give money to panhandlers?

11. What is your favorite restaurant?

12. How many hours of sleep did you get last night?

13. What did you study in college and what do you do now?

14. What is your favorite way to keep healthy?

15. What is the last random act of kindness you performed?

16. Would you rather sit or stand all day?

17. What is the first thing you do when you wake up?

18. What one decision in your life would you go back and change?

19. Do you wear makeup?

20. Do you read your emails every day?

21. What one thing would you tell your 10 year old self?

22. What is your beverage of choice?

23. What is your go-to snack?

24. What part of the world are you in?

25. Have you ever gone skinny dipping?

26. What is your favorite Social Media platform?

27. When is the last time you ate out?

28. What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done?

29. Dog lover or cat lover?

30. What is the last picture on your camera?

31. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?

32. iPhone or Android?

33. Could you live without social media?

34. If you were stranded on a deserted island, what one thing would you want to have?

35. What is your biggest accomplishment?

36. What is the highest level of education you’ve achieved, and what was it?

37. How old were you when you learned to swim?

38. How old were you when you learned to ride a bike?

39. Do you eat pizza with your hands or with a fork and knife?

40. What is your favorite memory as a child?

41. Who is your favorite Disney Character, and why?

42. If you won the lottery, what would you do?

43. How many hours per week do you tend to work on average?

44. What is your favorite day of the week?

45. Post a recent photo of yourself.

46. How do you stand out from everyone else in your industry?

47. What is your superpower?

48. If you could go back and change one decision from the early stages of your business, what would it be and why?

49. What is your favorite breakfast?

50. Who is your idol?

51. Tell me what your business is in five words or less.

52. What is your absolute favorite food?

53. What one beauty product could you not live without?

54. When you were little, what did you dream about becoming when you grew up?

55. What is your favorite easy dinner?

56. If you had unlimited funds in life, would you still be in your business?

57. When you need to destress, what is your favorite go-to activity?

58. What is your most productive time of day?

59. What is your favorite form of self care?

conversation starters60. Describe your favorite pair of shoes.

61. Do you have pets? If so, what kind?

62. What is your favorite way to relax?

63. What is your favorite holiday?

64. Chocolate or vanilla?

65. What are your best time management tips?

66. What is your favorite quote?

67. Who is your favorite author?

68. Who is your favorite movie director?

69. What is your current favorite song?

70. Do you listen to music while you work?

71. What is your favorite animal?

72. When is the last time you did something extra special for someone else?

73. Do you know how to drive a stick shift?

74. Have you ever ridden a motorcycle?

75. What is the most exotic thing you’ve ever eaten?

76. What do you do in your spare time?

77. If you had all of the time in the universe, what would you do?

78. Who do you most admire, and why?

79. What are your favorite business tools?

80. How much time per week do you spend on social media?

81. Do you have a TV in your bedroom?

82. Do you keep your cell phone with you in the bedroom at night?

83. What are you grateful for today?

84. What’s your usual bedtime?

85. If you suddenly found $47 and had to give it to someone else, who would you give it to and why?

86. If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing in your business, what would it be?

87. What is the last book you read?

88. What is your favorite blog?

89. Do you have a regular exercise schedule?

90. How do you track your time?

91. How much do you exercise in a given week?

92. What is your quick and easy go-to breakfast?

93. What do you usually eat for lunch?

94. Do you use ceramic or plastic dishes?

95. Who is an ideal client for you?

96. Do you prefer the city or country?

97. How do you pronounce the word “Pecan”?

98. Where do you consider yourself to be from?

99. Have you ever lived in another country?

100. Have you ever flown on an airplane?

Have you been using Google as your business consultant?

Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.

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Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:

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The Dos & Don’ts of Public Relations Crisis Management

public relationsThe phrase “PR disaster” was perhaps never used more than it was last month when United Airlines forcibly dragged a passenger off of a flight, not because of any transgression he’d committed, but because the airline had purposefully overbooked the flight.

The video of the incident would have been a disaster in and of itself, but United Airlines truly dug their own grave when their social media representative seemed to blame the victim of the incident immediately after the video hit the internet. The airline’s Twitter account referred to the passenger as “disruptive and belligerent”, despite the fact that the video footage and the witness statements contradicted that.

United Airlines may forever be the poster child of what not to do in the midst of a Public Relations (PR) crisis.

To ensure that your company never follows the same path, here are the dos and don’ts of crisis management.

DON’T Blame The Customer

For a long time, the sentiment “the customer is always right” reigned supreme. Now, any business owner knows that jerk customers absolutely do exist and you sometimes have to bend over backwards for someone who doesn’t deserve such kind treatment.

When you’re in the middle of a public relations crisis, it’s important to remember the old rule about the customer always being right. Now, in the case of United Airlines, the wronged passenger was in fact an innocent victim. But even if he hadn’t been, the decision by the airline to insult him publicly still would have been the wrong one. You never want to look like you’re trying to pass the blame off to someone else, especially someone who’s given your company money. 

DO Communicate, But Wisely

United Airlines wasn’t necessarily wrong for responding to the situation promptly and publicly. It wasn’t their timing or their willingness to communicate that was an issue; rather, it was what they said.

Although saying something irresponsible or blaming the customer is the wrong way to go, staying silent can be just as problematic from a public relations standpoint. People are distrustful of any company that fails to respond to actions or accusations of wrongdoing. Furthermore, in the social media age, people have grown accustomed to lightning-quick responses. People grow impatient and frustrated if you wait too long to make a statement.

You want to think critically and creatively about your response to a situation, but it’s important that you work within a reasonable time frame. Put thought into how you respond, weigh the pros and cons of your words, but don’t wait too long. 

DON’T Be Childish

public relationsRecently, a new cosmetics company turned what should have been the launch of a promising new product into the end of their company before it ever really began. When Evie Blender launched its product, a silicone makeup sponge, it used the common cosmetics marketing technique of sending the product to a slew of popular YouTube makeup gurus to use in their videos.

When longtime YouTuber and makeup artist XSparkage announced on camera that she was underwhelmed by the product, Evie Blender could have just left well enough alone. Instead, they launched a downright childish campaign against the beloved e-celebrity, flooding her social media with petty comments and sending her a cease and desist letter that dishonestly labeled her fair criticism of their product as “libel.”

In the era of social media, this behavior by new entrepreneurs is becoming all too common. Your company’s social media presence ought to be taken seriously; these are not your personal accounts where you can be free to be goofy, sarcastic or petty. When you have a negative PR situation on your hands, don’t respond defensively to individual comments. Don’t engage with internet trolls who are trying to get a rise out of you. The second you appear to be overly defensive or childish, you’ve set the ball in motion for your company to fall apart.

The digital era has changed so much about how we approach public relations, but some rules will never change. Communicate honestly, but never be petty or blame the customer. Be polite, be professional and be honest. Customers don’t have a problem with companies that occasionally make mistakes; rather, what they have a problem with is companies that don’t know how to handle these mistakes.

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Philip PileticMeet the Author: Philip Piletic

Philip’s primary focus is a fusion of technology, small business and marketing. As a freelancer and writer, he is in love with startups, traveling and helping others get their ideas off the ground. He unwinds with a glass of scotch and some indie rock on vinyl.

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Branding Myths and the Hard Truth About How to Brand Your Business

These days I’m seeing a lot of people trying to do some pretty crazy stuff with their branding. I suspect they just don’t know how to brand their business. I also see some crazy expensive branding fees. These so-called branding experts are charging way too much money for not a lot of work. But then I also see some amazing branding experts out there leading the way like David Brier and Danielle Miller.  

I hear lots of talk about the mystery of branding. I hear weird rumors that everything is all about your logo, that you have to have a website, that you have to do all of this STUFF to have proper branding.   


how to brand

It seems there are just too many myths about how to brand your business.

Myth #1: Your brand and your logo are synonymous.

Can I repeat that again? Your brand is not the same as your logo. Your brand is the look and feel of your business. It’s the experience that your clients and customers get when they interact with and do business with you. It is the entire package that is you and your business. Your brand is expressed through everything you do, including the customer onboarding process or the ‘Thank You’ cards you write.

In fact, you don’t even want to put your logo on those hand-written ‘Thank You’ notes and cards!

I understand that the latest trend is to use fancy fonts or handwriting fonts to write out someone’s name as a logo (and then charge hundreds to thousands of dollars to do just that). That’s interesting. But it doesn’t always convey your brand’s identity and individuality.

It doesn’t convey that magic something that is your brand.

Instead of going with the current flavor of the month, try going with colors, logos and messaging that reflect the essence of your business.

Myth #2: Your brand is a “thing” and is static.

I believe your brand should reflect the identity and message that you want it to convey, not someone else’s idea of what it SHOULD convey. It is also a living thing that will change over time as your business changes, and if your business is new, then it WILL change.

I also subscribe to the idea that it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful, especially where social media is concerned. Too often people fall into the “perfection” trap. They believe they have to have the perfect website, with the perfect photo shoot and the perfect videos. They drop a lot of money into developing a website in order for it to do its job, and they feel they have to do all of their opt-ins and website content, and have everything perfect before they put themselves out there.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is that your brand will change over time.  Very little you do will be totally perfect. Trying to make everything perfect before you begin your business, or begin to attract customers is just going to keep you from making any money whatsoever.

One big dose of reality that you should get used to is that your business is very likely going to change. Your brand will shift dramatically over time as your business shifts. That’s not something they talk about online or in business school.

If life has it’s ups and downs, then business is like living on the Manta Roller Coaster at Sea World (i.e fast, lots of flips and ups and downs!)

how to brandSo, how do you build the “right” brand for your business?

The answer is that you take inspired, if imperfect, action each day. You go ahead and put yourself out there and show up as your business. Ask potential clients for business. Build relationships. Be real.

Try out different messages, if needed. Sometimes it can take a few tries to hit on exactly the right verbiage that resonates with your audience.

Try different colors. Since colors are an integral part of your brand, it can take a few tries to get exactly the right colors that express your own individuality and business. Just because the most trendy colors are black and white, or brown and white, or whatever, doesn’t mean that you then need to follow the herd and integrate those exact colors into your brand.

Pick the language that you feel is a great fit for your business. Choose carefully, but don’t spend hours, days and weeks trying to get it completely perfect.

More likely than not, your brand will change over time. And you’re likely going to rebrand every 18-36 months in your business. Spending months and months trying to get the perfect look may only cost you more money without getting better results.

Pick what seems to work at the time and don’t tie yourself up into knots. The more you put yourself out there, the better.

Have you been using Google as your business consultant?

Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.

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Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:

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A Beginner’s Guide to SEO: What is SEO and How Can You Improve Your Ranking?

One of the biggest buzzwords associated with websites and online marketing or digital marketing strategy is SEO. But what is SEO exactly, and why should you care? 

80% of traffic to a website begins with search query (Formstack) (Source:

what is seoWhat is SEO?

It’s stands for Search Engine Optimization. It helps people find you when they type certain words or phrases into a search engine such as Google. The algorithms that Google uses are a secret, and they are also a moving target. Some estimates suggest that the algorithms changed over 600 times last year, which is almost twice a day. As a human, you can’t keep up with all of the changes or know what to do with them.

A few years ago, the things that people did to improve SEO will get you blacklisted now.


A few examples of what NOT to do:

– Keyword stuffing. This means deliberately using a keyword numerous times in a post to get it seen by the search engines. It used to be popular, but now it’ll just hurt your SEO chances.

– Commenting on many blogs with a couple of words here and there, and leaving a link back to your website. This confers no help with SEO because comments by definition are ‘nofollow’. There are actually tools that will crawl the internet and leave comments here and there with links back to your website.

– Creating invisible text. Google does not look favorably upon text that is invisible to the human eye.

– Creating fake directories, or not so great directories, and listing your website in all sorts of directories.

– Duplicating content. If you have a single article that is duplicated elsewhere, it’s probably not a big deal. But if the majority of your website is duplicated all over the place, then Google may label your website as spam.

– Cloaking. Bad cloaking is when you serve up one set of information to the Google bots (computers that scan the internet looking for information) and another to end users. One example of this could be a porn site which serves up funny cat pictures to the first, and the other kind of cats for end users so that they can be easily found by search engines.

– Creating doorway pages. These are landing pages that have nothing to do with the page where they ultimately direct you. They frequently send you off to spam-land and will get you blacklisted.

So, what do you do instead?

Focus on building your SEO and helping customers find you organically online.

Why do you care?  Why not just buy ads?

 You can deploy a marketing strategy in which you just buy ads. But over time, running those ads will cost you more than implementing a strong SEO strategy.

But everyone is focusing on SEO; everyone wants to be on the first page of a Google search. You need a plan that will help you stand out among your peers so the right customers can find you.

1. Update your directory listings. You can use a service such as Yext to do this, or you can manually update Yahoo, Bing, Google, Yellow Pages, and Super Pages. Obviously, the more legitimate websites you have linking to your website, the better your own website will rank in organic searches.

2. Create a great content strategy. The idea isn’t necessarily to bury them in content, but to create valuable content that your end users can really use and that hits them where they are looking.

3. Create a great long tail keyword strategy. Long tail keywords are a string of words that when put together mean something interesting. An example of a short tail keyword might be “Realtor”. A long tail keyword might be “Realtor in Cary, NC specializing in large homes”. You can focus on other keywords that relate to “Realtor” but that aren’t necessarily just that one word. The more high quality content you create around that search term, the more highly your page will rank.

4. Create a strategy for building high quality backlinks. This can be through guest blogging, contributing posts to a website like Huffington Post, or using a service like HARO (Help A Reporter Out) to get mentions in the media.

what is seo5. Get high quality online reviews of your business. Ideally, you want to get reviews for your business through Google, Yahoo, Bing, Facebook, Yelp, and others.  The more reviews that exist online for your business, the better.

6. Build a social media following on one or two platforms and drive traffic to your website that way. You don’t have to be on every single social media platform, but you should make a point of doing a great job with at least one platform. You can promote your blog there, and drive traffic and more clicks back to your website. Twitter and Pinterest are known to be particularly effective at driving traffic back to a website.

7. Ask for comments at the end of your posts. I know it sounds silly, but you have to actually train people to leave you comments and answer questions. The more you prompt people to leave you questions and comments, the faster your blog visibility and traffic will grow. Google likes to see high quality comments on a blog and will rank it higher.

8. Fill out the ‘Alt Tags’ on your images. You should make sure that you always give a good description of an image and make sure that the alt tags are filled out for every image.

9. Link within your own blog. If you link articles together within your blog, you will significantly improve your SEO. This also has the benefit of helping encourage people to hang out and surf your page, looking for more information. The better you interlink your pages, the better your readers can find more content.

10. Make sure your blog posts have good titles. The better your titles are, the more clickable they become. They also become more shareable on social media. Google measures the number of times an article has been shared on social media.

Have you been using Google as your business consultant?

Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.

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Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:

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How to Make Your Business Stand Out with the Right Branding Techniques

~by Emma Miller~


The brand is the most valuable asset for most businesses. Its main purpose is to share company’s messages and make it stand out from the competition. Although most entrepreneurs think that branding only requires creating a memorable logo design, this process goes far beyond a company’s visual identity.

Branding defines the company’s relations with the general public and its consumer base. Effective differentiation is the most important characteristic of every successful brand. Big companies like Coca-Cola, KFC and Apple use their brand identity to sell more products and engage their audience. The growing market requires businesses to implement innovative branding tactics.


In this article, we’re going to share some of the most effective branding techniques that will help you improve your company’s image and make it stand out.

Outstanding Customer Service

Consumers easily remember exceptional customer service, and they often share their shopping insights with their friends and family. Since recommendations and word-of-mouth marketing, in general, are among the most effective branding techniques, outstanding customer service can increase your brand recognition and improve its value. Still, improving your customer service is not an easy task. You need to make yourself available to your customers at all times. Customer service tasks can be simplified and made more effective with specialized software. You should also use a wide variety of communication channels to be in touch with your customer base. Create a mix of traditional contact sources like phone and email, as well as currently popular customer service channels, like Twitter or website live chat.

Memorable Visual Identity

The corporate logo is a graphic representation of a company’s values. A well-designed logo can spread the company’s message far and wide, and that’s why entrepreneurs shouldn’t settle for solutions offered by online logo designers and cheap graphic design hacks. You need to invest both time and money into creating a stunning visual identity, and this investment will guarantee great returns. A company’s visual identity creation goes far beyond a simple logo design. This term also encompasses a set of corporate colors and a brand identity style guide that describes how you can use the logo in the right way. A good placement is equally important as a logo design itself, and that’s why entrepreneurs should hire competent graphic designers who will equip them with the book of standards that narrowly defines shapes, colors and rules for using company visuals.

Promotional Merchandise

Many people thought that digital technologies were going to disrupt the marketing world so much so that all the traditional techniques would soon be forgotten. Although digital marketing almost annihilated TV and newspaper ads, one traditional marketing method still works like a charm. Useful and good-looking promotional merchandise is one of the most effective branding tools. The prices of commercial printing services are becoming more affordable every year. In addition to this, worldwide eCommerce allows promotional merchandise manufacturers to purchase good-quality and affordable products from China and other Far Eastern markets.

brandingPromotional products you give out to your customers need to be both useful and well-designed. This way, you will make sure that their recipients will use them on a regular basis and promote your company at the same time. Promotional merchandise should also be fully customized to cater to your customers’ needs and solve the problems they are facing on a daily basis, which is what industrial design studios can do.

Copywriting that Hits the Spot

A good sales pitch and convincing website copy are essential for attracting new leads and turning prospects into customers. A skilled copywriter will provide your web presentation with attractive slogans and turn your landing and product pages into an effective sales funnel. When it comes to branding, the copywriting is as essential as graphic design. Creative content can easily set your web presentation apart and make it stand out. Although many entrepreneurs think they can create website content by themselves, by focusing on these tasks they are diverting attention from their company’s core business. That’s why hiring a professional copywriter is the best way to ensure a steady influx of good-quality web content.

Good branding is partly art, partly science. It helps you present your business in the right way and convey your messages to the target audience. Due to fast technological advances, the branding process has drastically changed in the last couple of years. Nevertheless, many traditional branding techniques are still highly relevant. The right combination of digital and offline branding will make consumers remember your business and help you leave your market rivals far behind.

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Emma Miller

Meet the Author: Emma Miller

Emma Miller is a Sydney based writer with a degree in marketing. Her interests are digital marketing, social media, start-ups, and the latest trends. She is also a contributor at Bizzmark blog.

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Don’t Make These Social Media Mistakes – What to do Instead

~by Haley Lynn Gray~


social media mistakesOne of the good things in life is that sometimes we’re successful in spite of being our own worst enemies and shooting ourselves in the foot over and over again.  

That’s the good news.  

I see a lot of entrepreneurs making some basic social media mistakes that are easily avoided entirely, and that are costing them quite a bit of money. In the worst case scenario, if you’re like them, you can give potential customers the mistaken impression that you are out of business.  

Here are some common social media mistakes entrepreneurs make when trying to promote their business:

1. They aren’t consistent. If they go for months and months without posting, they can confuse people about who they are and what their business is about, and leave everyone wondering if they’re still in business.

What to do instead: Update the post at least once a month, or use a scheduler such as Buffer to schedule your posts ahead of time. Not sure what to post? Check out my guide on social media posting to get some ideas. You don’t have to be perfect, but you do have to be consistent. Not ready to keep posting regularly? Then consider deleting your page.

2. They try to sell too hard. They post constantly about their business, and try to sell to everyone they meet. Problem is, people generally don’t appreciate being at the other end of a sales pitch.

What to do instead: Post a sales post about once every 8 or so posts. That means you need to come up with other content. Try testing different sorts of posts to see what gets the best reaction from your audience.

3. They don’t build relationships. All things being equal, people will buy from those they know, like and trust. The relationships that entrepreneurs build will be vital to business.

What to do instead: Get to know people by name. Comment on their pages. Meet people for coffee or talk on the phone and find vital partnerships for your business. The more you talk to people and build connections, the better your business will do. Build those and your business will thrive.

4. They don’t play it like a long game. Social media is not a fast thing. Building a following and getting clients for your business does not happen overnight. It takes time to tell your story and build relationships. If you expect to get clients instantly, this is not going to work for you.

What to do instead: Start small and build up from there. Take the opportunity to build a lot of relationships. Keep your day job and keep plugging away at it until you make enough money to transition out.

social media mistakes5. They spam friends and people who aren’t friends. People come online to be social, and hang out. They may decide to buy, but they never, ever come online to be sold to. I get messaged by people constantly who I’ve never had any interaction with, and no relationship with, who want me to buy from them, join their team, etc. It is a huge turnoff.

What to do instead: Be of service. Talk to people at least a few times before you ask them to buy. Accept “no” for an answer, and understand that usually means “not right now”. They may come back at a later date to buy from you.

6. They use tricky means to get people into their Facebook Groups. A VIP group is a beautiful thing. Adding all of your friends to your VIP group? Sometimes they run parties that require the people attending the party to be added to someone’s group to participate.  Adding people to a group without their consent generally annoys them and constitutes a social media faux pas.  

What to do instead: Message people to ask them to join your group. More often than not, they are happy to be asked. Invite people from your business page, and check out my guide on how to build a Facebook group. I built my group of over 55,000 members without ever adding a friend who didn’t want to be added. You can do the same.

7. They create a Facebook account that is in their business name. Facebook Terms and Conditions do not allow you to create an account as a business.  

What to do instead: You need to create an account as an individual, and then create a business page. Yes; I understand that you won’t get as much engagement as you might from a personal page. Instead ask business associates to comment on your posts to help build engagement and traffic.

There are so many unwritten rules on social media that you can easily trip over them.  Know that if you approach social media with an eye towards being a good social person, you will have great success with your business. Post content, see what resonates, and post more of the good stuff.

Have you been using Google as your business consultant?

Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.

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Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:

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Understanding the Science of Attracting Customers to Your Business

~by Hannah Whittenly~


attracting customersDiscovering exactly what customers find most appealing has always been a challenge for business marketers. This is especially true today when major headlines and digital reach can rapidly transform consumer expectations. A glimpse into behavioral psychology, however, has offered some insights into why customers choose one business over another.

Here are a few things for you to take into consideration for attracting customers:

Pricing vs Value

If consumers think that your prices are high, they look elsewhere. “Discount” prices can give a perception of poor quality or service. A $2,000 designer handbag isn’t really a hundred times better than the $20 department store knockoff, but people prize it much more.

The prices you advertise should reflect the reputation of your brand relative to the competition. If people want your product badly enough, they’ll pay more for it. When you establish higher value, higher prices follow.

Innovation and Outreach

One trend in today’s business is a stress on innovation. Customers are attracted to something that seems bolder and better. Yet, constantly generating new products is difficult to maintain for smaller businesses.

Instead, you should apply your creativity in cost-efficient marketing campaigns like email and social media. People are still receptive to personalized outreach. In one study done by

Brigham Young University, hundreds of random strangers were sent Christmas cards, and fully one-third reciprocated.


People are social by nature. Most people will abandon a purchase even where there’s definite value if they feel frustrated or insulted. Sales and floor staff, as well as customer service teams, should be prompt, friendly and informed. Rude, slow, neglectful, or ineffective service is bad service.

attracting customersSavvy consumers recognize when they’re being pressured, patronized or hearing scripted sales pitches. Be sure your staff is customer-centric in their responsibilities and well-trained in the “soft skills” of human interaction. Never forget human ego and self-esteem. Customers will react negatively if you’re bashing theirs’.

Business Premises

For offline businesses like shops and restaurants, a customer’s reaction depends on the visual picture they get at your location. Dirty and poorly maintained premises automatically lower perceptions of your quality and service.

If you don’t want customers to move on immediately, it’s important to keep paint fresh, windows clean, debris removed, and parking lots in good repair. If your parking lot has tons of potholes in it, then it can become quite an irritating place to be. That is why you should consider hiring a professional paving company to fill them up. The same goes for interior spaces and floors. If the first impression of your business isn’t positive, you’re losing customers.

An understanding of how your customers respond to every aspect of your business is important. Marketing tricks and trends may come and go, but basic human psychology isn’t going to change.

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Hannah WhittenlyMeet the Author: Hannah Whittenly

Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She graduated from the University of California-Sacramento with a degree in Journalism.

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The Definitive List of Social Media Post Ideas

~by Haley Lynn Gray~


My business coaching and social media clients frequently tell me that they draw a blank when trying to come up with ideas for what to post on social media. Thus, I decided to come up with a comprehensive list of ideas for posts that you can use for your social media.

If you get stuck, refer to this list of social media post ideas to get yourself unstuck.

social media post ideas1-Post a picture of yourself.  Many people simply don’t post enough pictures of themselves. Our clients want to know what we’re doing and how we’re doing it.

2-Post about a holiday. is a great website with so many holidays and arcane options for holidays. There are almost always fabulous choices for holidays you can celebrate. From Blueberry Pancake day to National Sibling day, there are holidays galore in there.  

3-Post your blog posts.  If you’ve written blog posts, share them. You can and should share them over and over again on platforms like Twitter. You can also share them again on Facebook and LinkedIn, but you will need to spread out posting of the content over a period of time.

4-Create custom graphics using sites like You can put together quotes, memes and other little cute things. You can use photos and graphics provided by Canva or you can upload your own images.

5-Share your favorite or interesting videos that resonate with your audience.

6-Post pictures of your products or services.  You don’t want to miss this opportunity to highlight what you’re selling.

7-Tell people what you are up to in your business.  

8-Ask questions about topics that are interesting to your audience.  Questions can be fun, silly, serious or that require thought.

9-Run a 3, 5 or 7 day goal-oriented challenge.  Give people a goal and have them work towards it. This can be a great audience building exercise, as people will want to learn more about your business. This works particularly well for coaches and entrepreneurs who work with clients.

10-Ask your audience to post a picture of themselves or their pets. Make it more interesting by proposing a theme. 

11-Share other people’s content.  This is called curated content and is an important part of showing your expertise. The more you can show that you are involved with the world around you, and are sharing resources, the more of an expert you will appear to be.

12-Guest appearances. If you appear on any other blogs, podcasts, tv shows, radio shows, or other media, share it with your followers.

13-Share your accomplishments and milestone achievements with your audience.  

14-Fill in the blank posts work well. For example, “If I could go anywhere on vacation for free it would be to _____”.

15-Polls.  Facebook has a built in poll feature. Usually I just prefer to ask a question – such as, “What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?”

16-Statistics or data.  People love to argue over statistics, but be careful what you post! I learned to check every statistic before I post because sometimes they are wrong. And people enjoy discovering that you were wrong and posting about it.  

17-Infographics.  You can easily create infographics on But there are so many really good infographics out there on Pinterest that can be shared as well. I particularly like sharing information on teenage driving safety and causes that I care about in addition to work-related posts.

18-Post beautiful pictures.  You can find lovely pictures on Pixabay and Pexels for free.  There are so many wonderful places that have images which are free for commercial use. Just be sure to read the rules on the website carefully. You don’t want to be guilty of copyright infringement.

19-Share your own artwork, poetry, or photography.  People want to get to know YOU, and sharing these can show a deeper, more meaningful side.

20-Link to a controversial blog post or topic you feel deeply about. Lately, I’ve been posting about equal pay.

21-TED Talks are frequently a good source of information, especially for entrepreneurs.

22-Ask your followers for feedback on products or services.  People love to give feedback, and beta-test products, services, websites, and even get a sneak peek at your books or videos.

23-Pinterest can be a great source of inspiration.  I keep Pinterest boards specifically for inspiration. You can make those boards either public or private. If you attribute the source correctly, this can be a gold mine of fun.  

24-Share valuable resources and tools.  There are many times that I actually refer people to other experts in the field who know more about a particular subject than I do.

25-Facebook Live or other videos get a lot of views and interaction.  You may find it difficult to get interaction on a business page, but you will be shocked at the number of views you end up getting.

26-Offer a free download – a free ebook, a free guide, a checklist.  That will help you build your email list while building your tribe’s loyalty.  

27-Ask people what they would like to see.  You may be surprised at the responses you get.

28-Profile an employee or a valued client.  By sharing who works with you, and who you work with, you will offer insights into your business and also help shine the spotlight on clients.

29-Case studies are powerful tools for education and empowerment.  Please share lots of great case studies to be used as educational content. We used them extensively at Duke University and I think that they are a phenomenal tool.

30-Ask for reviews or testimonials.  Most us need more reviews or testimonials on our social media pages or on Google. In fact, those reviews are worth their weight in gold.

31-Ask your fans to submit photos that you can feature on your social media.  Fan photos are fabulous, and the quality can be phenomenal.

32-Share a favorite book or a book that you’ve recently read.  Bonus points if you include a review and a link to it on Amazon. (Double bonus points if you leave a review on Amazon!)

social media post ideas33-Recommend your favorite products and services.  I send out an email periodically with links to the products and services that I use to run my business. I am an affiliate with some of them, and this gives me the opportunity to make a few dollars as well as recommend products and services that I stand behind.  

34-Post tips.  I have found that creating a list of tips in my social media scheduler ( and having it post those periodically is great help. People love them, comment on them and share them. By creating a repository of those tips, I’ve got them for the long haul.

35-Share time management tips.  People appreciate learning more about how other business owners manage their time and how they’ve managed to become successful while building their business. By sharing this kind of information, you become even more of a great resource, and more human and real.

36-Collect quotes from other industry experts and post them on your website.

37-Start conversations with industry leaders.  You may not get an answer, but you should at least try.

38-Create photo collages.  You can use Canva or PicMonkey to create one.

39-Show ‘then and now’ photos.  People love to see what your first website looked like or where you were 5 years ago.  

40-Share comics or memes.  Show a bit of humor and people will love you. One of the best examples is George Takei. Millions of people follow him and share his hilarious, witty memes.

41-Recommend a colleague or associate.  By bringing visibility and attention to your colleagues you will help them grow your business, and they in turn will help you grow yours!

42-Share breaking industry news.  You can set alerts on Google to alert you when there is new news that affects your industry.  

43-Post inspirational videos from Youtube or Facebook.  There are so many fun, inspirational and educational videos — the hardest decision is where to start.

44-Ask people to guess or predict the results of major events.  This can be about who will win an election, or a sports match or tournament.

45-Ask True/False questions.  Or Fact/Fiction. You can use as a source of interesting urban legends.  

46-Share the latest news about your business.  Did your business just hit a major milestone? New employee? Share it, preferably with photos!  

47-Post coupons and links to someone else’s promotion or sale.  I find that telling people about sales and promotions gets them excited. (And who doesn’t love a good sale?)

48-Share some personal details.  I have people who I swear follow me for stories about my kids. It amuses them to see me get hit and held up by a certain child of mine who likes to shoot nerf bullets at me while I’m on Facebook Live. Obviously, you don’t want to overshare, but some details show that you’re more than just a business owner — that you’re a real person too.

49-Share stories about your company in the news. That tends to spark more news.

50-Look for opportunities to appear on podcasts as a guest.  Then once the show goes live, post that on your social media feeds.

51-Guest blog for other blogs and other news media sites. Then share these on your social media pages. You’ll generate great backlinks to your websites and buzz about your company.

52-Share awards that your company has won. Done properly, this helps build trust with your followers.

53-Hold a flash sale.  People love a good buy, and by running random sales, you will get them looking for more.

54-Share the latest industry research.  Do you have some studies or statistics you can share? (Bonus points if they become an infographic)

55-Give a shout out or thank you to your fans.  People will appreciate being acknowledged.

56-Give expert advice and information about a topic of interest to your followers.  This helps establish your reputation online.

57-Do a series of social media posts around a topic or theme.  I frequently put together a series of topics for a month or two or three that tie together. I also create custom graphics for all of the posts to tie them together.

58-Get employees or fans to guest post for you.  The more the better.

59-Interview guests on Facebook Live.  You can interview other industry experts, and in the process you’ll further establish your own credibility.

60-Do a video about a current event in your business on Facebook Live, YouTube or other format.

61-Create a compilation of industry news. Top 10 lists are always appreciated.

62-Create a list of books to read.  These can be industry-related or even books for enjoyment.

63-Support a cause or charity and encourage your audience to support the same cause.

64-Run a 3, 5 or 7 day self-improvement challenge.  As an example, you can challenge people to improve their health, organization, time management or some other aspect of their lives.

65-Host a give-away of something good.  Different social media platforms have different rules regarding contests, so you will need to make sure to comply with all applicable rules.

social media post ideas66-Pull out interesting points from your blog posts and share those.  You can link back to your original blog so that the readers get “the rest of the story”.

67-Make predictions about where the industry is headed.  

68-Post life hacks.  Just as there are many websites dedicated to Ikea hacks, take the opportunity to show novel and unexpected uses of your products in real life.

69-Link to comments on your blog that are particularly interesting or helpful.

70-Create FAQs to answer questions that you get asked a lot.

71-Share your story and back history with your audience.  People like to know where you’ve come from and what your background is.

72-Just as you share where you’ve come from, share where you see the your company going, as well as your vision.  

73-Share pertinent pieces of information or background on topics from your education.  For some, when we leave school we want to forget where we’ve been, but there are many extremely helpful resources or pieces of information that will be helpful to our readers.

74-Connect people to a helpful Facebook or LinkedIn group.  This is just another way for you to show your value and helpfulness.

75-Post a link to an old newsletter.

76-“Throwback Thursday”.  Post about something in the history of your company, whether it’s a picture of an old logo, website or story about the way things used to be.

77-Tell a funny story.  People love stories and anecdotes from our lives.  

78-Stalk your competitors – on social media, that is.  Look at what your competitors are sharing and find a way to do an even better job than they do.

79-Share (or post a link to) an employee biography.

80-Give an award for employee of the month.  Then share the information on social media.

81-Search Wikipedia for an interesting topic.  Add to the content and quote it on social media.

82-Answer a question on Quora – “A place to share knowledge and better understand the world”.

83-Answer questions you receive.  If someone has sent you a question, answer their question publicly as either a video response or in a mini blog post.

84-Share a funny commercial.

85-Run a photograph contest by asking viewers to submit photos to be voted on.

86-Share a great music video.

87-Write a post in Haiku format and challenge your readers to respond in Haiku.

88-Share your best time management tips learned as an entrepreneur.  We can all use more time and find better ways to manage our time.

89-Share a favorite piece of artwork.

90-Create a story and run that story thread through your business.  

91-Get a mascot and show pictures of the mascot in action.  I have a pink pig named “Oink”. I take photos of him taking a bath, getting into trouble in the kitchen, and more. My friend has a frog who drinks a lot of wine at her vineyard.

92-Post inspirational quotes from your favorite role models.  

93-Ask people to post a picture of their pets.  

94-Show a picture of your desk.  People are intrigued by our offices and desks. They may even agree to show you their desks. (My desk is always a pile of papers)

95-Post a “thank you” to your clients.  Let them know how much you appreciate each and every one of them.

96-Comment on world topics.  But be sensitive to the political climate – be sure to stop your posts and feeds if there is a significant world crisis or news event.

97-Give examples of what NOT to do.  Whether it’s fashion or how to cause yourself to be blacklisted by Google. A ‘what not to do’ tip can be extremely powerful.

98-Ask your audience what questions they would like answered.  You can structure your responses around their questions.

99-Conduct a live Q & A session.  Announce in advance when you will be available and show up to answer questions.

100-Promote your products and services lightly.  You should promote only once after every 10 or so other posts; the goal is to draw in customers. The reason I mention this last is because you should keep your business promotions to a minimum.

Have you been using Google as your business consultant?

Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.

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Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:

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My Comprehensive Guide for Finding New Clients on Facebook

~by Haley Lynn Gray~


I’ve written general articles in the past on how to get clients using Facebook, but this will be a more comprehensive guide.

finding new clients


Let me preface this by saying that there are several general ways to get clients. But if you aren’t careful about how you approach people on social media, you may end up getting put into Facebook jail. So exercise a bit of caution when using some of these techniques. I will tell you which techniques tend to be abused and which ones can land you in hot water.


1. Personal Facebook Pages. This is by far the most common approach used to get clients and customers. It’s worth noting that this is a violation of Facebook’s terms and conditions. If you are using your personal page heavily for business, Facebook can and will put your account into purgatory.

The way you can get around this is to post only “occasionally” about your business, or to post a wide variety of non-promotional content on your personal page. That means you may have to schedule content to appear on your personal page in addition to the promotional content you publish. It is important that your promotional content is less than 30% or so of your total posts.

You can promote your business, but for best results, you will want to make sure you take time to build relationships. I encourage you to make friends in Facebook groups, and then send them friend requests to continue the discussion.

2. Facebook Business Pages. This is the official way to run ads and get clients and customers via Facebook. They are designed to be the public face of your business. The problem is that Facebook has made it harder and harder for your content to be seen by anyone, and organic reach is nearly dead.

Or is it?  

What I’ve learned is that you have to post interesting, engaging content that your clients and customers want to see. That means posting videos, graphics and questions — and taking the time to post interesting and valuable content. The more you focus on drawing people into your conversation, the better your results will likely be.

The other thing you should do is comment on other people’s business pages as your page. This helps generate more visibility for your business page. Unfortunately, you can’t join a Facebook group as a business page, so any businesses you see as users in groups are actually people who have named their profile after their business. This also is a violation of Facebook’s terms and conditions. Facebook can and will close down your account for doing this.

3. Facebook Groups can be a fantastic way to grow your business. There are a many different types of groups, such as social groups, special interest groups and business groups. Some groups are focused on Buying/Selling/Trading. Just be sure you read, understand and abide by the rules for each group as they do vary.

Too often people try to be involved in about 25 or 30 different Facebook groups. That can be  utterly overwhelming. The point of many of the social, special interest or business groups is to build relationships, and of course, engagement. By building relationships, you increase your chances of growing your business. By going into groups, posting and engaging with people every day, you will build a flock of raving fans. It is funny how even when you can’t promote your business, if people know what you do, they will refer to you.

So what ratio do I recommend?

finding new clientsFor every one promotional post, engage with others on their threads at least five times on a daily basis. I’ve seen and experienced significant growth and engagement in my own business when I do this.

A word of caution: do not spam groups. You should never only post without ever engaging with others. There are a number of group owners who take offense to this, and they will remove and block you from their groups.

4. Private Messaging can be a great way to find clients on Facebook. By building relationships with people and messaging them via private messenger on Facebook, you can invite them to shop with you even in situations where you can’t post in a group or on your personal page.

A few rules, though.. Make sure that you’re taking time to actually engage with people before pitching them your “opportunity”. I blocked one chick who kept messaging about how much I “needed” her for her services. She wanted to charge me $500 to turn my life around and lose weight, because hey, if I lose weight I’ll be more successful.

If you get blocked too many times and reported, Facebook will shut down your account.  That won’t help your business at all!

Getting clients on Facebook isn’t hard; it’s about building relationships. Ultimately, the more successful you are at building relationships with people and cultivating those relationships, the more successful your business will be. It is far more effective to build solid relationships with a few people than to spread yourself too thin. I’ve been very successful at building a huge following, but it started with focusing on each individual in front of me, and treating each person as if they’re special, and like, well, they’re real people with real feelings.  

Have you been using Google as your business consultant?

Are you ready to start working with an expert in business instead?

Schedule a consult with me today.

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Meet the Author: Haley Lynn Gray

Haley Lynn GrayHaley helps female entrepreneurs create a strategy plan for their businesses – so they can make enough money to spend quality time with their family, pay for their children’s dance lessons, pay bills – and not worry about where the next client is coming from.

Haley is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Leadership Girl. She helps other entrepreneurs build their businesses by sharing the benefits of her business education and experience through Business Coaching.

Whether you want to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing business, Haley can assist you.

Connect with Haley:

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